11 Things You Didn’t Know About Maneet Chauhan

by in Shows, June 12th, 2013

Maneet ChauhanYou’ve seen them judge the competition, battle for the title of All-Stars champion and compete in a friendly game with colleagues on After Hours, but there’s a lot you don’t know about the judges of Chopped. Here’s your chance to get to know the nine people behind the Chopping Block.

Maneet Chauhan is a regular judge on Chopped. Viewers may also remember her as a contestant on Season 3 of The Next Iron Chef. After 8 years leading Vermilion restaurant, Maneet started Indie Culinaire, an avant-garde culinary and hospitality company that services events around the country. Her cookbook, Flavors of My World, was recently released. What you may not know about Maneet is that she hates cooking with pineapple. Find out more about Maneet in her Q&A.

What’s your Achilles’ heel ingredient, one that you hate to work with or encounter in someone else’s dish?
Maneet Chauhan: I personally hate to work with pineapple, the reason being that that was the one ingredient that played a critical role in me (and all my predecessors) being eliminated on my season of The Next Iron Chef.

What dish or ingredient will we never catch you eating?
MC: Spam.

What was your most memorable meal? What? Where? Who? Details, please.
MC: My husband and I went to Venice, Italy, for our first-year anniversary, and spent a day on the Island of Burano. There we had lunch at the famed Trattoria al Gatto Nero da Ruggero — one of the most incredible meals of our lives. We had the freshest seafood, the most delicious risotto. It was a true homage to highlighting the beauty of the freshest ingredients, best olive oil, garlic and the secret ingredient in their cooking — salt from Trapani.

What’s your guilty-pleasure food?
MC: Vanilla ice cream, with lots of candied pecans and hot fudge.

Is there one dish that you always order out and never make at home?
MC: Sushi.

What kitchen tool can you not live without?
MC: Spice grinder.

If you weren’t in food, what career would you have liked to have tried?
MC: Jewelry designer. I love my bling.

What’s your favorite “food city” to visit?
MC: Singapore. It’s an amazing melting pot of Asian food — Indian, Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian and Chinese — and has a perfect balance of delicious street food and some amazing upscale dining.

What’s your favorite late-night snack?
MC: Masala popcorn (popcorn with Indian spices).

What’s one must-have at your last supper?
MC: My mom’s flatbread with a big dollop of freshly home-churned butter, topped with her potato and fenugreek vegetables.

Who’s your favorite person to cook with?
MC: My husband, Vivek Deora. He is very meticulous about cooking, and slowly and lovingly makes his family recipes, handed down generations. The flowing wine also helps.

Rapid fire: Think fast!
Ketchup or mustard? Ketchup
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla
Coffee or tea? Tea
Burger or hot dog? Burger
Cream cheese or butter? Butter
Soda or water? Water
Sprinkles or jimmies? Sprinkles

Get to Know the Rest of the Judges:
Aarón Sánchez
Alex Guarnaschelli
Amanda Freitag
Chris Santos
Geoffrey Zakarian
Marc Murphy
Marcus Samuelsson
Scott Conant

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Comments (16)

  1. Denise Ortiz says:

    Please STOP THE SEXISM!!! Chopped used to be my favorite show, but I don't think I can keep watching it anymore, like many of my friends who have already "chopped" the show from their schedules. My family and I can predict when the women competitors will be chopped (according to formula, it's usually by every 2nd round). It's that predictable. Judges can't even come up with real reasons for chopping women, but apparently they simply aren't interested in whether or not these women can cook, so it doesn't matter to them. The "female" judges should be deeply ashamed of their traitorous behavior. What was it H. Tubman said? Some people can't be freed because they refuse to see that they are slaves. Shame shame on you……..

    • Celia says:

      Maybe they get chopped because their food isn't the best. I have seen two women in the last round, and women have won on occasion. However, in the "real world" there are more male chefs than female, so perhaps it is the true to life ratio rather than sexism.

      • Annebren says:

        Amen, Celia!

        And Denise,
        Both male & female , of a variety of races, from all walks of life, have won Chopped.
        I think it's fair to assume that if you put as much effort into bettering yourself, as you do feeding your 'Victim' mentality, you'd probably be a more positive person right now…
        But unfortunately due to your assumptions and ignorance, your opinion has been "CHOPPED."

    • Guest says:

      Just because the women typically lose, doesn't mean they're sexist. It's a pretty sound biological (evolutionary) fact that when it comes to risk-taking, women tend to play it safer.

      Not to mention, women are vastly outnumbered among chefs, and even among those who are professional chefs, most tend to be pastry chefs or more uncommonly sous-chefs–comparatively few women are head chefs.

      It's no offense in making that general claim, just because people don't like the sound of it. It's a proven truth, time and time again–men are risk-takers, and women play things safer. Not ALL women, of course, but enough women to make this claim generally.

      But, of course, despite all science and research on the matter, the general public just don't like any truth that sounds "sexist." Political correctness before fact, I guess. Just like the gender wage gap issue, where when examined closely, it turns out that women at large contribute to the issue because they're 42% more likely to take time off work and tend to choose lesser-paying fields, due to factors like dealing with family (children).

      To this very day, the most common job among women is executive assistants (secretary), just as it was 60 years ago, despite the fact that more women are going to college than men today. The top career choices of women are far lesser-paying jobs, when compared to men's top career choice. Men not only choose the better jobs, they tend to have better work availability (most men will work weekends and nights with no problem–many women simply can't, due to kids).

      But hey, let's never talk about this stuff publicly–it doesn't sound good. Let's just paint it all as "sexism."

  2. Josh Trenser says:

    Some interesting facts indeed!!!

  3. Ann Proctor says:

    I do not care for her "judging abilities." Her criticisms are weak.

  4. Sandra Reid says:

    I think most of them are way too harsh! You can critique without being rude! Anne Burrell is the worst – and her YELLING the countdown to completion time is soooooooo annoying!!!!!!! And hovering over the cooks, making them even more nervous than they already are – terrible!
    I like seeing the chefs trying to get a new job, but she, with her disgusting hair, ruins the show!! How in the world did SHE ever get it?

  5. I think most of them are way too harsh!

  6. Cooking Whiz says:

    I "really wish" she would stop saying "I really wish you had…" It could be a drinking game (but I wouldn't to get THAT drunk in an hour).

  7. DRTVEGAS says:

    Where did they get this lady Maneet Chauhan? She's HORRIBLE! I think she completely detracts from Chopped! PLEASE change her out!

  8. MackieJ says:

    Mandeep is kind of boring but at least she's not mean or arrogant like Chris SatanOs.

  9. mrsurvey says:

    I personally enjoy watching and listening to Maneet. I hope that her new cook book has good rice type recipes. I am interested in curry, but I am an awful cook.

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